What Chick-Fil-A is about

I don’t think the fact that Chick-Fil-A had a record-breaking day this week is mostly about gay marriage, although that’s part of it.

I don’t think most people there thought they were making a bold stand for Jesus, although that’s an easy straw man for detractors (“Oh yeah? How many orphans did you buy a sandwich for?” Uh, how many orphans did you buy a sandwich for Wednesday?).

I certainly don’t think it’s mostly about homophobia. This is a ginned-up controversy on that front; no one has presented any evidence that CFA discriminates against homosexuals in their hiring or service.

There are elements of truth in these, and I understand the Christians who felt Chick-Fil-A day or whatever was a bad idea. But here’s what I think it’s mostly about:

There are a lot– a lot— of people in this country (USA) who have heard for years about how insensitive and backward they are. Who have seen an organized attempt to write their opinions out of the public square. Who have seen countless examples of offense being taken, and capitalized on, when it’s clear that none was intended. There are a lot of people who are made to feel guilty because of their alleged privileged status, or religious beliefs, or voting pattern. A lot of these people aren’t looking for a demonstration to join. They just want to be left alone.

A lot of those people saw someone sort of like them make a statement, in response to a question, explaining his personal beliefs– beliefs held by millions of people in this country. Then they saw the organized outrage that followed. They saw elected officials declaring war on a company because of the religious beliefs of its leader. And they said, you know what? Not this time.

I think very few of the hundreds of thousands of people who ate delicious chicken and waffle fries Wednesday were “haters“. They didn’t pick this fight. I think many, perhaps most, of them are just ordinary people who are sick and tired of being told that they’re haters, sick and tired of being told their beliefs are outside the pale, that they’re racist or homophobic or misogynistic or whatever, when they know they’re not. There are a lot of these people, and their patience is wearing thin. Their cultured despisers should perhaps pay attention.

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Comments

  1. Good insights. Don’t know if anyone outside the Christian community will listen, tho. That’s the problem with what Keller calls “passion-based ethics”: you don’t have to reflect, just feel.

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